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ZSE to miss automation deadline

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THE Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) is likely to miss its stated plans to implement the historic Automated Trading System (ATS) by end of the first quarter due to problems in migration to the Central Securities Depository, sources close to the developments said on Tuesday.

Sources said while ZSE had indicated that it would complete the ATS project next month, this was unlikely after Zimbabwe’s first ever central securities depository firm, Chengetedzai Depository Company, failed to meet the December deadline for the migration of paper-based titles into new electronic shares.

Currently, 41 out of the 61 counters trading on the ZSE are on the new settlement platform since Chengetedzai commenced the migration in September last year.

Last March, the ZSE signed a contract for the supply and installation of the Capizar ATS by Infotech Middle East FZ LLC.

“Last August the ZSE indicated that it would complete the ATS project by February but that is highly unlikely given that no progress has been reported since then,” a source close to the developments said.

Contacted for comment, ZSE chief executive officer Alban Chirume requested written questions which he did not to respond to despite several follow ups.

Chengetedzai indicated several times last year that it would complete the migration of the firms by December, but missed the deadline and casting doubt on the ZSE’s ability to launch the ATS in February. The Central Securities Depository system maintains securities in electronic format in investors’ accounts.

It is operating under a custodian model as opposed to the retail model where investors have a direct interface with brokers. Under the custodian model, investors will have a choice of either going directly through a custodian for the purchase of shares through a broker or through Chengetedzai.

— The Source

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